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  1. Default Trip planned for October 2009 - Help Please

    Hi guys,

    I'm in the early stages of planning a road trip for next year starting mid-October in Washington DC heading down the east coast, heading over to the West coast via the Southern states, before heading up the coast, finishing in Las Vegas in late December (in time for New Year). This trip will be the finale to a year long round the world trip for me and my wife, we will be 29 and 28 respectively at the time and are UK residents.

    I'm looking for general advice on the trip, in particular budgetary. At a rough guess I'd say we'd have around £5000/$10,000 for the whole road trip. I suppose at this stage my main questions would be...Vehicle wise should we be best to rent or buy, car or RV? Accommodation we are happy to camp at least some of it, hostels, motels are fine too. Would it worth splitting the trip so we do some by train or coach and some driving? Would the weather that time of year be of concern? Is our budget realistic?

    Any help at this stage would be a great help.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default details

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its kind of hard to answer your questions right now, because you just don't seem to have enough nailed down. For example, your budget estimate of $10000 is potentially a little low, but much of that is going to depend upon your transportation. Your transportation will also determine where you can stay (camping isn't really an option if you are taking a bus or train)

    All of the options you've laid out are within the range of possibilities, but they also cover a massive spread of the kind of trip you could have. 2 months in an RV slowly working your way through the country, would be a whole lot different than taking busses and trains from city to city and staying in hotels an hostels.

    With 2 months, you've got plenty of time. Your budget will at least be workable, although you may have to make choices to make the numbers work, but I think your first step needs to be to figure out what kind of trip you want this to be.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the help Michael. Sorry to be so vague, I just wanted to throw a whole bunch of options out there and see what came back.

    Ideally I'd want to do the whole trip by car, the only reason I thought about trains was just as a way of maximising money. Obviously by doing a car trip we can throw a tent on the back seat and then it's there if needed but again this is more for a cost control measure. Apart from Washington at the start and Vegas at the end, the only other city I particularly wanted to see on route was LA. The rest of the trip would be more about the open roads, scenery and getting to see the hidden America that us Brits rarely get the chance to see. In the city's it would be all about hostels and budget hotels and on the road, camping and modest motels.

    Hope this makes things a little clearer, though still fairly vague i'm afraid.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default trains & cars....a hard mix to get right and still save

    I'm not seeing much of a cost saving by alternating trains and cars. Everytime you rent a car, if you drive it from point a to point b and then drop if off, you will have a one-way charge. These are usually several hundred dollars (amounts vary). So, each time you do this, you will have to pay this drop-off fee. That would add up fast.

    If you rent a car for the entire time, I'm seeing rates for about $2200-2800 including the one-time drop-off fee. Of course, you would need to add gas for that.

    For the train, the longest pass I'm seeing is for 30 days at about $500 each. So to depend on trains would cost more than the car, I think. Well, maybe less as you wouldn't be buying gas but the savings wouldn't be all that much.

    Really, the best thing you could do is play around with the different websites for car rentals and the Amtrak website and see what you can come up with. But I think your money and time would be better spent on just renting a car for the whole trip.

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